Harvest Trail Inquiry
Harvest Trail Report
We recently released our Harvest Trail Inquiry report, which details the results of our review of workplace arrangements on the Harvest Trail. We started this work in response to employee and community concerns that the FWO had received about non-compliance with Australian workplace laws.
Download the Harvest Trail Inquiry Report (PDF 9.7MB) (DOCX 6.2MB) for more information.
Every year, seasonal harvest workers follow the ‘Harvest Trail’ of ripening fruit, vegetables and other crops around Australia. From January grape picking in the Hunter Valley to autumn apples in Tasmania, October mangoes in the Northern Territory and cherries at Christmas time, the horticulture and viticulture industries employ many travellers and seasoned harvesters.
The horticulture sector is key area of focus for FWO. Our experience of working with employers and employees in the horticulture industry has shown there is often:
- confusion about employer obligations, including how to use piece rate agreements
- a lack of understanding about grower’s obligations when using a labour hire service.
Read the results of our Harvest Trail Inquiry Report including:
- where we went
- what we did.
Harvest Trail Inquiry Report
Our Harvest Trail Inquiry started in August 2013. We focused on visiting and revisiting Harvest Trail regions to help employers and employees understand their workplace rights and obligations.
We looked at issues such as:
- minimum wages and conditions, including piece rates
- record keeping and pay slips
- labour hire and supply chain issues.
Some of the discoveries we made during our Harvest Trail Inquiry include:
- misuse of piece rates
- a negative impact where labour hire arrangements were used illegally
- low consumer awareness and unwillingness to pay more for ‘domestic fair trade’ produce contributes to exploitation.
The Harvest Trail Inquiry Report details our efforts and what we found out during this period.
Download the full Harvest Trail Inquiry Report (PDF 9.7MB) (DOCX 6.2MB)
Where we went
During the inquiry, we visited businesses across Australia. These visits were in response to intelligence such as requests for assistance and anonymous tip-offs.
Use the interactive map below to see which locations we visited.
You can also download the list of locations visited (DOCX 138.7KB).
What we did
Read about some of the work completed as part of the Harvest Trail Campaign and Inquiry:
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What to do next
- Visit our Horticulture page to learn workplace rights and obligations, read our top tips for workers and get our labour hire guidelines for growers
Help for small business
- Contact the small business helpline for quick and easy access to our advisers and workplace relations information. Call the helpline on 13 13 94 and press option 3
- Find tools, resources and information you might need on our Small business page.
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